Matt Hancock has come under fire for praising a private app in a newspaper article.
The Labour Party want the Health Sec to face an “urgent investigation” after he seemed to endorse, Babylon, a GP app.
The piece appeared in the Evening Standard, edited by George Osborne, where he praised the app, even telling the paper he had it on his own mobile device, reports the Huffington Post.
The article was printed “in association with” Babylon, which matches patients to NHS GPs for free – and offers a £9.99-a-month premium service.
The Ministerial Code says ministers should not normally “offer support to, pressure groups, or organisations dependent in whole or in part on Government funding”.
The Code adds: “Ministers should take care to ensure they do not become associated with non-public organisations whose objectives may in any degree conflict with government policy and thus give rise to a conflict of interest.”
A Department of Health spokesman said: “As the Health Secretary has made clear in the past, he holds no portfolio for any particular company or brand and regularly champions the benefits of a range of technologies which can improve patient outcomes, free up clinicians’ time and make every pound go further.
“We are working to create a tech ecosystem which allows all innovations to flourish in the NHS, a number of which were highlighted in the article.”
A representative from the Evening Standard told HuffPost UK the interview was an “editorial decision” and the Standard “retained full editorial control” over the content.
“The interview was subject to the full rigour of Evening Standard editorial judgement,” the statement said.
Since you are here
Since you are here, we wanted to ask for your help.
Journalism in Britain is under threat. The government is becoming increasingly authoritarian and our media is run by a handful of billionaires, most of whom reside overseas and all of them have strong political allegiances and financial motivations.
Our mission is to hold the powerful to account. It is vital that free media is allowed to exist to expose hypocrisy, corruption, wrongdoing and abuse of power. But we can't do it without you.
If you can afford to contribute a small donation to the site it will help us to continue our work in the best interests of the public. We only ask you to donate what you can afford, with an option to cancel your subscription at any point.
To donate or subscribe to The London Economic, click here.
The TLE shop is also now open, with all profits going to supporting our work.
The shop can be found here.
You can also SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER .